I bet I heard this song for the first time at age 5.
I didn’t know much about Alice Cooper when I was a kid. I was aware that there was weird shit like makeup and onstage chicken sacrifices, but that was about it. There were no Alice Cooper records in my house, so I had no way to hear this freaky band.
But Alice Cooper really was a rock and roll band. As with Kiss, there was more attention paid to theatrics than to the music itself. Calling it “shock rock” is quite dismissive.
This song reminds me of Chuck Berry’s “School Days,” and ode to his own high school years that became popular with kids in the 50s because it spoke to their common experience: School sucks and we can’t wait until the bell rings so we can go listen to some rock and roll and have fun!
Alice Cooper understood that rock fans wanted to listen to songs they could relate to.
“What’s the greatest three minutes of your life?…There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you’re just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you’re sitting there and it’s like a slow fuse burning.I said, ‘If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it’s going to be so big.'”
He was right. “School’s Out” has been used in countless movies and commercials, and has been covered a million times. A lot of younger people discovered the band when Wayne and Garth got backstage at a concert in 1992.
Even when school’s in session, there’s no wrong time to listen to Alice Cooper.